Hot Topic – Push Button With Care

Wow – yesterday’s post generated 76 LJ comments overnight. I think that may be a record. They are fascinating to read through. Thank you everyone for sharing your opinion about this.

After dinner last night, I wrote back to her. I decided that this was indeed a “teachable moment” and if I was going to complain about emails like this, I should reach out and try to help. MySpace said Courtney was online when I sent it.

“Dear Courtney,

Are you sure that you want to write a “different” paper? Because I have a very interesting idea if you do.

Laurie Halse Anderson

PS – When you write back, please don’t use the abbreviations you use when texting your friends. I really love English, punctuation and all. Yes, I know it’s a pain, but that’s what you have to deal with if you write to an author.”

So far, she hasn’t written back. I suspect she won’t because I am certain the paper was due yesterday.

I think I need a new page on the web site. I could title it: “kan i rite 2 u?” The page will explain the no-homework policy and give kids the basic facts they want for papers as well as links to more information. And it will gently point out the differences between formal and informal writing styles.

As to ‘s post about language evolution, I am tempted to agree, but I think it is too soon to tell. The technology that is fueling these abbreviations and linguistic short-cuts is itself rapidly evolving. I don’t think the teenagers in ten years will be using the same kinds of phones or IMing to communicate, so I don’t think this language will stick around.

I predict that in ten years, the FaceBook equivalent will have groups called “u gru up in teh 00s if u rite lik dis.” And people will chuckle fondly.

Have any of you shared this with your students? What did they say?
Any last thoughts?

a five of fridays

I am a huge word geek (show love for the linguistics majors, my friends) and one of my favorite things is collective nouns. So I am all over this Friday Five:

What would be a good collective name for your family, as in “A _____ of Joneses?”
We are a hug of Halse-Anderson-Larrabees.

What would be a good collective name for your closest group of friends?
Ummm… a babble of buddies.

What would be a good collective name for the stuff in your desk?
A despair of detritus.

What would be a good collective name for your next-door neighbors?
A glower of strangers.

What would be a good collective name for the people in your line of work, as in “A _____ of accountants?”
I am stuck here. Which do you like best?
1. A scribble of authors.
2. A shelf of authors.
3. An imagination of authors.

What are your Friday Five today?

Meg Rosoff: YA author? Adult author? Does it matter? Tell me true.

Shaking out the mailbag

Today’s post empties my email bag… the handwritten stuff is almost finished, too. I’ll be spending most of Saturday at the Sectionals swim meet in Syracuse, and I’ll bring what’s not done with me to finish there. Be sure to read the first letter (below), because I want the opinions of you guys who visit this LJ regularly.

Today’s interesting article about language growth.

Max writes: Hey! I had what I thought was a really good idea. I was reading back on your journal entries, because I haven’t been online in a couple of days, and I first read your most recent entry about what advice you would give to teens, then I scrolled down to read about your AIM chat with your daughters, and the idea hit me! I think it would be awesome if you created a screen name specifically for the website, like writerlady, and put together chats for all of your fans and the people that you inspire to come and chat with you and ask those questions! I’m not sure how much you like this idea, but I think it would be awesome to actually get to chat to you like all of us are on a phone call!

Good to hear from you again, Max! I have mixed feelings about your suggestion. It is a terrific one, and it uses technology, which I like. But I am feeling very pressed for time these days, what with deadlines and road trips coming up. What if we set up a message board so readers could communicate with each other? Check out Neil Gaiman’s board and tell me what you think.

Jenn writes: I have a question about publishing. I am in the process of writing a poetry novel. I want to try to get it published when it is finished but I don’t know how/where to start that whole process. Can you give me some advice?

The best advice I have is to go to a library and ask the librarian to help you find books about the publishing process.

“Melinda-twin” writes: I loved the book speak. Im 15 and my life seems almost like Melindas. I got the site from the book in class! Ha! I thought it was weird… me and Melinda had the same freshman year thing! I had an art teacher I liked more than my others. My English teacher is a Hairwoman.. and my american history teacher….is a mr. neck! I dont really have spanish but i hear she only talks in spanish like melindas! I am suicidal sorta like Melinda.. But she only really tried once.. Im a repetitive suicidal girl. I havnt been raped but some of my old friends… (mostly goths) just dont like me. Me and my mom dont talk… when we do its about the weather. (ha!) I had a friend like Heather.. but she didnt snub me off for some other clan.. her name was Julie…. But i have a friend named heather! not from ohio though! it would be awkwardly funny wouldnt it?! Before I make this horribly long.. I just want to say that I love the book!

I am really glad you’re joining us here! And I hope, more than anything, that my books can help you see that high school does not equal life… and that things will get better. Be strong!

Naomi writes: First of all I would like to start off by saying that I thought Speak was an awesome book and I think you did a great job on it! I read your book for a book report that we recently had to do in English class. It was a multi-genre book review and for one of my genres I wrote a short story. I pretty much shortened your story for a quick read review. Recently I was looking for some scholarship ideas and I found a scholarship where you write a young adult short story to apply. I am very proud of my short story and was wondering if I could submit the story inspired by your story. My version has some different events and the people’s names aren’t the same but I figured I should ask your permission before I entered it. Please get back to me as soon as possible as there is a deadline to this opportunity. If you would like to read my story I would love that also and would be more than happy to e-mail it to you!

Go ahead and enter the story. It would make me very happy (and be ethical) to mention in the title that the story was inspired by my book. That way the judges won’t think you’re ripping it off. I wish I had time to read it, but I am drowning here. Let me know how the scholarship goes.